Dogs That Look Like a Rat: 14 Rodent-Like Dog Breeds

We already know how diverse the appearance of dogs is and sometimes, we can’t help but wonder if there are also pooches that look like rats. Well, there certainly are a few as some feature the typical long snout, dark eyes, and upright ears of rodents.

This article will satisfy your curiosity as we have gathered all 14 dog breeds which may give you a moment before realizing that they actually aren’t rats. Although labeling someone’s pooch as rat-looking, it shouldn’t always have to be taken negatively. Rat-looking dogs are cute and interesting.

1. Chihuahua

Chihuahuas have two varieties recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC): the Smooth-coated and the long-haired Chis. His rodent appearance is more noticeable if his fur is short as this paves the way for his features to be shown much better.

This small and feisty dog breed carries a somewhat pointy snout, bulging eyes, and small stature that isn’t far different from the known assets of a rat. In fact, there has been a widespread debate on whether he is a dog breed or a rat species.

The AKC confirms, however, that he’s indeed a pooch. Despite being a different breed, he would typically exhibit terrier-like traits or a big dog personality. He is aware of his size, so he can easily get intimidated by other sizable dogs, hence his defense mechanism to be a little aggressive.

2. Chinese Crested

If you ask us, Chinese Crested dogs do look like rats. Putting aside the prominent hair that covers his head, feet, and tail, the rest are basically just rat-ty. It makes the case even better if his body comes in dark colors as most rats have the same shade.

Now, Chinese Crested pooches don’t just bear the appearance of rodents. In the past, they were widely used to hunt down rats on ships. The fact that this breed is small, compact, and slim, getting into the usual places and ways rats take wouldn’t seem like a problem.

This dog, despite its peculiar appearance, makes a good family pet. He’s loyal and playful with kids and anyone around him as long as he’s used to interactions.

3. Papillon

If it wasn’t for the Papillon breed’s distinct fur and coat quality around his butterfly-like ears, he might have been long mistaken for a rat. Perhaps it’s all because of his round, dark eyes, somewhat long snouts, and size. 

Dog lovers who are heavily into small dogs would find it a delight if they come across a magnificent and adorable Papillon. His height goes around 8 to 11 inches and his weight ranges from 5 to 10 pounds. With that, it’s no hard work bringing him anywhere you go.

Obviously, he won’t have the same personality as a rat, despite the similarities in certain features. This dog often has a playful and happy disposition.

4. Rat Terrier

The Rat Terrier, as the name suggests, has a long and significant encounter with rats. This breed was involved in the rampant “rat-baiting” which was a form of entertainment in history. Spectators would often predict how long it would take for this dog to kill the rats that were let loose.

This activity went by for quite some time and it’s no surprise if some of the qualities of a rodent got transferred to this dog. His snout, eyes, perky ears, and dainty body are what qualify him to look so close to a rodent. What’s more, the whiskers add a more rat-like effect to him.

Before you bring home a puppy of this kind, you have to learn that his traits include being fearless and stubborn. With enough experience with dogs, you’ll be able to figure out how to raise him without the undesirable behaviors showing.

5. Miniature Pinscher

Some would call the Miniature Pinscher the Min Pin and just like the Rat Terrier, this pooch is a skilled rat hunter. Due to his history, it shouldn’t come off as shocking to know how high his watchdog instincts are and not mention the prey drive.

At home, small animals have to be kept at a distance from him or at least ensure that they are all properly socialized. Interaction must still be monitored at all times. He is fond of games and family activities too.

Due to his build, the Min Pin can be quite delicate. Gentle handling is a must and he shouldn’t be left alone with kids who play rough.

6. German Spitz

The German Spitz carries a few similar traits as the Pomeranian breed that’s why he bags the 6th spot on the list. Although his fluffy coat isn’t a feature that’s seen in rats, his facial structure like the big, round eyes, narrow muzzle, and erect ears are significantly rodent-esque.

A dog of this kind has different available sizes and you can either go for the toy, medium, or large one. Regardless of their proportion in that sense, the German Spitz weighs around 24 to 26 pounds, so it’s almost impossible to find a rat that big!

7. Russian Toy

Photo from: latrashmimi (IG)

Russian Toy dogs were originally bred from the English Toy Terrier. At times, they can be confused for a Chihuahua, more so if he features a pair of feathery ears or even if he has a smooth, short coat.

Now, the rat-like physical traits of this dog are mainly his small body and head, muzzle, ears, and eyes. His long, slender legs make up for it though, so it’s nearly impossible to mistake him for a mouse.

Owning this is like having a companion who has so much loyalty to give despite his fragile body. Although he can be carried in your arms, try not to do so at all times. Let him be a dog every once in a while!

8. Silky Terrier

Photo from: small_dog_buddy (IG)

The Silky Terrier has long, “silky”, human-like hair with a saddle on the back that appears in a contrasting color. Although, sure, we haven’t seen a long-haired mouse before, if ever there was, the Silky Terrier might be the closest dog to resemble such a version.

Silkies are like the identical twin of the Yorkshire Terriers but looking more closely at their head shape, Silkies usually have wedge-shaped heads in comparison to the rounded structure of the Yorkie.

It’s not new for a Terrier to act feisty and courageous, especially when faced with a few predators. He’s prone to barking so he can be used as a watchdog, but not very much as a protection dog.

9. Pomeranian

The Pomeranian is one of the consistently popular dog breeds listed in the AKC. Who would be able to keep their hands off this adorable dog that also looks like a lion? His mane is protruding, making him look more dignified than silly.

From his side profile, you’ll instantly notice a few key similarities found in a typical rat, whether it be a farm rat or a house rat. The snout is somewhat pointed, the ears are prickly, and the eye shapes are uncannily rat-like.

True, rats don’t have abundantly thick coats, but this isn’t the only feature to judge. 

10. Whippet

Talking about long, narrow snouts, the Whippet dog isn’t the last on the list. Some rats do have the same characteristic making this breed qualify in this category. 

You’d certainly nod your head in agreement once you witness a rat with a long muzzle with his nose picking up the smell of leftover food in the bin. The thing is that though the Whippet has the muzzle, he scores low when it comes to eye and ear similarity. Nonetheless, if he comes in a dark-colored coat, he’ll still pass as rat-looking. 

With his stature, a Whippet can run incredibly fast. He’s generally calm and quiet and the best home for him is one that has older kids.

11. Greyhound

Of course, if we have the Whippet, we also have to feature the Greyhound. This is an alternative dog that was often the choice of upperclassmen in comparison to the much cheaper Whippet. Ignoring his body’s build, the face says it all. He’s undeniably rat-ty in all angles.

Even though the ears are carried behind his head, the muzzle that’s pointy and narrow is what carries all the rodent-like vibe. As a sighthound, he’ll be always quick to spot prey and run after it in a manner that can’t be underestimated.

12. Pharaoh Hound

Photo from: xena_pharaoh (IG)

If you want something ancient, historically familiar, and has a close association with the royalty, the Pharaoh Hound might suit your preferences. The short smooth coat, dainty snout, and alert ears pass the rat test. The eyes that may come in light brown makes him distinct from the other animal though.

It doesn’t just end there. This dog was bred to hunt after rabbits, rodents, and gazelles with kings and pharaohs alongside him. Eventually, he arrived in Malta and was hailed as a national dog. 

Despite being around for a long time, the personality stays consistent and appealing. Pharaoh Hounds make great family dogs even for novice pet owners. He’s clownish, sensitive, and committed to being with you for life!

13. Ibizan Hound

As the name says, this dog comes from Ibiza. He has also been around us for quite a long time and his physical appearance isn’t far too different from that of the Pharaoh Hound’s. His stature is almost the same, particularly mentioning his lanky stature and narrow muzzle.

Originally, this dog was used to hunt down rabbits and participate in other small games. Nowadays, it’s more common to see him as a house dog now as his temperament and capability to socialize are outstanding.

The right owner and upbringing will make him gentle to those around him. Training can be a bit of a challenge so firm handling is a must.

14. Dachshund

To end the list, we have the Dachshund. A small dog with a peculiar stature, and stubby legs. Overall, he can certainly be likened to a rat. He has a short, smooth coat, elongated snout, and dark brown eyes. 

Despite his odd physical appearance, this German dog is skillful enough to chase down vermin and rodents. The way his body looks enables him to get into tight areas like tunnels and no other dogs in mind can do as good a job as a Dachshund.

The dog tends to be aggressive so give him enough training and socialization.